We have been neck-deep in apples for about a month now, with the last of our giving tree’s gifts just now tapering off for the season. We have made applesauce, apple butter, apple cheddar hand pies, and four apple custard pies; I think you will love this last one! We took one to a picnic in the park recently and it got rave reviews.
Apple Custard Pie
For the crust:
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cold
- 1 and 1/8 cup flour
- 3 – 4 Tbsp ice water
- pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 400. Whisk together flour and salt. Cut butter into tablespoon-sized pieces, then cut butter pieces into flour with a pastry cutter until the mixture looks crumbly, with pea-sized and crumb-sized pieces.
Add ice water, one tablespoon at a time, and mix with wooden spoon. Start with 3 Tbsp, then add a fourth only if dough will not come together. Push together dough with your hands and roll out onto a well-floured surface.
Cut into one large round, then transfer to pie dish. Gently fold edges (I’m no good at making the edges pretty, so this type of pie dish helps me cheat!) and poke holes into bottom with a fork.
Cover with foil and pie weights (or dry beans), and blind bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, reduce heat to 350.
While you are blind baking the crust, start the filling and custard.
For the custard:
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, soft
- 2 Tbsp flour
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour, then add eggs one at a time, beating well before adding the next. Add buttermilk slowly, then vanilla. Set aside.
For the apple filling:
- 4 – 6 small tart apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored, and sliced thinly
- 1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- pinch cloves
For top of pie:
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter, then add apples, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves. Over medium-low heat, gently stir until apples are coated with sugar and spices. Cook for 5 minutes, or until apples are fragrant and just tender.
Pour apple mixture into blind-baked pie crust, then pour custard mixture on top. I grated fresh nutmeg all over the top (about 1/2 tsp) because it really compliments the custard. And by the way, if you have too much apple mixture or custard, just omit a bit of either (or both). You don’t want your pie to spill over! In case it’s looking close, I usually place the pie dish on top of a baking sheet before placing in the oven to catch any drips while it’s baking.
Bake at 350 for 50 minutes to an hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool for an hour before serving. The center should be slightly wobbly right when you bring it out.
Serve with fresh homemade whipped cream, or cold for breakfast the next morning. Enjoy your apples!
Now what to do with all the rest…